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Congrats to ILMS and its principal

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Indian Land Middle School has been in the limelight a lot lately. The school stepped into the national spotlight early last month when its principal, David McDonald, was named the 2013 South Carolina Middle School Principal of the Year.
A few weeks later, ILMS learned it had been redesignated as a National School to Watch, an honor given to high-performing middle schools.
So the school has had a lot to celebrate lately and it begins 2013 glowing with deserved pride.
McDonald was chosen from among hundreds of nominations submitted to the S.C. Association of School Administrators.
“It takes a lot of great students, parents and teachers to have a great school,” SCASA Executive Director Molly Spearman said at the Dec. 5 announcement, “but we know from years of research that you also have to have a great principal – and you have a great one right here.”
Spearman said McDonald was chosen based on his leadership style, his knowledge of content instruction, how he works with his teachers and student achievement, among many other measures. She said he rose to the top during the interview process, during which his ability and enthusiasm for his job shone.
“Those things are David,” she said. “He loves his students and his school community – it’s a ministry to him.”
“David, we are very proud of you and the success you’ve had,” Lancaster County School District Superintendent Dr. Gene Moore said at the announcement. “This is a great community school and we appreciate all that you’ve done to help run this.”
But McDonald, as usual, gave the credit for his success to his faculty, staff and students.
“I don’t do what I do for awards; I do what I do because of you,” McDonald told his students.
McDonald is now eligible for the national Principal of the Year award and will represent the state’s middle school principals in Washington, D.C., next fall.
ILMS is one of just two schools in the district to win the Schools to Watch honor this year – South Middle was the other – and one of just 13 in the Palmetto State to ever receive it. Fewer than 350 schools in the nation have received the designation since its inception in 1999.
To achieve the recognition, the school had to go through a rigorous process, incorporating several programs and practices to reach the School to Watch aims.
McDonald said his school is “thrilled to have been redesignated as a School to Watch.”
The school first earned the recognition in 2010.
We congratulate McDonald on his achievement and Indian Land Middle School, its faculty and staff, its students and their parents, and everyone who’s had a hand in making ILMS a National School to Watch.